Rancho Cucamonga Fire Threatens California Homes, Forces Evacuation

Image: Rancho Cucamonga Fire Threatens California Homes, Forces Evacuation A Sheriff Deputy stands at his patrol car as the wind driven Etiwanda fire burns on April 30. 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 04:30 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A fire threatened at least 1,600 homes in and near Rancho Cucamonga, California, as the wildfire grew Wednesday from 20 acres to more than 800 acres.

Rancho Cucamonga residents were evacuated Wednesday as winds drove the San Bernardino National Forest wildfire to the edge of the city.

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According to The Los Angeles Times, officials estimated that 500 people and 30 engines were fighting the fire, which caused smoke advisories to be issued for several counties.

By Thursday, the mandatory evacuations were lifted, although the fire was reported to be only 10 percent contained, KTLA said. Voluntary evacuations were still being encouraged. 

About 1,000 acres had burned, but only one home had been damaged Thursday afternoon.

The winds, which were between 30 and 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph, were the biggest concern, KTLA said. Air tankers and helicopters couldn’t fly unless the winds dropped below the 30 mph mark.

“The message is ready, set, go,” Incident Command Team spokesman Carlos Guerrero told KTLA. “Be ready just in case something changes … be prepared in case you’re asked to leave, and to cooperate if those orders are given.”

Resident Barbora Koneca retrieved necessary belongings from her home Wednesday before evacuating.

“Any time they tell me it’s time to go, I can get out of here. I don’t want to be in anyone’s way,” she told the Times. “With the wind going the way it is, you just don’t know.”

Many schools were closed Thursday.

In odd news associated with the wildfire, a clip of a shirtless man asking out a KTLA reporter who was live on the scene is starting to go viral.

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